Burlington, Alva Advance to Regional BEST Robotics Contest in Denver

November 7, 2023

BEST Robotics contest
About 125 students, coaches and parents from nine schools in Oklahoma and Kansas took part in Northwestern’s Heartland BEST Robotics Game Day contest Nov. 4 in Percefull Fieldhouse at Northwestern-Alva. The Burlington and Alva high school robotics teams will move on to the regional contest in Denver, Colorado, on Dec. 16-17.
Burlington Robotics team competing
Burlington High School students compete in the Heartland BEST Robotics competition at Northwestern-Alva on Nov. 4. They are the winners of the BEST Award category.

Alva students competing at BESTAlva High School students placed first in the Robot Game contest during the Heartland BEST Robotics competition.

Students from Burlington High School and Alva High School have advanced to the Regional BEST Robotics competition in Denver, Colorado, on Dec. 16-17 after earning top placings in the Heartland BEST 2023 “Incision Decision” contest at Northwestern Oklahoma State University-Alva Nov. 4.

Burlington earned first in the BEST Award category, the third consecutive year for Burlington to win this category. Dr. Tim Maharry, director of the Heartland BEST competition and chair of the mathematics and computer science department, noted that the BEST award includes a marketing presentation, spirit and sportsmanship, an engineering notebook, a team exhibit, as well as robot performance.

Alva’s robotics team earned the top Robot Game Award.

These students will compete against other teams from Colorado, Kansas, Ohio, Pennsylvania and South Dakota.

Other winners in the BEST overall category were Lawton Academy of Arts & Science, second; Arnett High School, third; and Waynoka High School, fourth.

Others placing in the Game Award category were Leedey High School, second; Arnett High School, third; and Burlington High School, fourth.

“The robotics competition went well, and students seemed to have a good time competing in the game,” said Dr. Tim Maharry, director of the Heartland BEST competition and chair of the mathematics and computer science department. “The game competition was very competitive with several teams in the running throughout the semifinals and finals. In the finals, the top two teams were very close, with Alva winning with 1,015 points in the finals followed closely in second by Leedey with 1,000 points.”              

Special awards went to the following:

  • BEST Coach of the Year – Thure Tolson, Waynoka High School
  • BEST Spirit & Sportsmanship Award – Burlington High School
  • BEST T-shirt Award – Pratt (Kansas) High School as voted by the teams
  • Most Elegant Robot – Burlington High School
  • Most Photogenic Robot – Waynoka High School
  • Most Robust Robot – Lawton Academy
  • Founders Award for Creative Design – Arnett High School

Teams from Ft. Supply and Vici also were part of the event.

Thure Tolson, coach of the Waynoka High School robotics team (second from right), is awarded Coach of the Year by Heartland BEST director Dr. Tim Maharry (far left), and co-directors Dr. Jenny Sattler (left) and Dr. Mary Riegel.

This year the students’ robots were created to score points by assisting in various surgical tasks including brain biopsy, cardiac valve repair, coronary artery bypass, cardiac ablation, pacemaker electrode connection, arterial plaque removal and cardiac angioplasty.

This year marks the 21st year that Northwestern has held a BEST competition. BEST stands for Boosting Engineering, Science & Technology.

To learn more about the Heartland BEST Robotics competition at Northwestern, contact Maharry at (580) 327-8583 or tjmaharry@nwosu.edu, or co-directors Dr. Mary Riegel, professor of mathematics, at (580) 327-8437 or mriegel@nwosu.edu and Dr. Jenny Sattler, associate professor of physics and chair of the department of natural science, at (580) 327-8568 or jasattler@nwosu.edu.  Information also may be found at https://www.nwosu.edu/school-of-arts-and-sciences/natural-science/heartland-best.


Northwestern Oklahoma State University

709 Oklahoma Blvd., Alva, OK 73717
Phone: (580) 327-1700

© 2008-2024 Northwestern Oklahoma State
University. All Rights Reserved.

Mission Statement

Northwestern Oklahoma State University provides quality educational and cultural opportunities to learners with diverse needs by cultivating ethical leadership and service, critical thinking and fiscal responsibility.

Proud Member of RUSO